Best time to travel to Colorado

Sunflowers

Yellow wildflowers create amazing vibrant displays across the mountains and deserts

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Yellow hues are common for Colorado landscapes. Over the summer, the state is blessed with many kinds of blooming wildflowers that transform its green valleys with golden tones.

Prairie sunflowers (helianthus petiolaris) are abundant on Colorado plains and along the roads. It's equally common on the dry soils in the eastern and southern parts of the state as well. Check out sunflower fields across the Pawnee National grasslands, throughout the summer. Pawnee Buttes Trail is most beautiful when it is blanketed by blooming sunflowers in June. In Great Sand Dunes National Park, the peak sunflower bloom occurs around the third week of August. Grasslands and shrublands area is especially scenic at this time with millions of flowers in bloom.

In the mountains, you can encounter an Alpine sunflower (hymenoxys grandiflora), which grows in tundra zone of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Aspen sunflower or little sunflower grows on lower elevations. However, much more often you'll come across aspen sunflowers growing along with mule's ears or wyethia, a plant of the sunflower family. Together they create a stunning sea of gold at Gunnison Area, and especially Almont Triangle and Crested Butte. This area is the prime destination for sunflower viewing in the Rockies where the peak bloom occurs in late June and early July. Kebler Pass, Farris Creek and Walrod trail, Crested Butte peak, and Lower Loop are some of the places, where you can spot them. Mule's ears are also abundant in the southwestern part of the state, particularly, at Lone Mesa State Park where peak bloom occurs in mid-June.

Due to a variety of flower species and various microclimates, you can find blooming sunflowers in Colorado throughout the whole summer!

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